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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Curried Pumpkin & Wild Rice Soup

You know what's awesome? Coming home from an after-work workout and inhaling the wonderful scents of a meal already in progress.

Last night, Ryan took charge of dinner, saving us from another night of takeout. The main ingredient was a pumpkin we picked up a few weeks back in La Crosse that had been sitting on a table in the corner of our kitchen begging to be used.

Since butternut squash and pumpkin are pretty interchangeable (heck, most canned pumpkin is actually butternut squash), we made one of the winning recipes from FoodNirvana, the food competition at Minnesota Street Market that I judged. We reduced the coconut milk, added a little lime juice and seasoned it up with salt and pepper and enjoyed a delicious dinner.

Curried Pumpkin and Wild Rice Soup
Serves 6-8
Adapted from JJ and Lisa Torborg's recipe
1 cup uncooked wild rice
3 cups water
2 ½ pounds pumpkin
2 ½ cups vegetable broth
½ cup orange juice
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped,
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ tsp curry powder
1 can coconut milk (we used 1/2 can)
1 ¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 wedges lime, juiced

In a pot, bring the wild rice and water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 35 - 40 min until kernels are tender and just begin to pop open.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise, scrape the inside clean, and save the seeds for future use. Lay the pumpkin face side down in a large baking dish. Cook for 45-60 minutes or until tender, using a fork to check tenderness. When tender, scoop pumpkin away from skin, place in a bowl, and mash lightly. Once the pumpkin is lightly mashed, mix in the vegetable broth and orange juice.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion and the garlic until tender. Season with the curry powder. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add to the pumpkin mixture and mix well.

Mix in the cooked wild rice and coconut milk (taste for sweetness) and cook until heated through. Season with salt, pepper, and lime juice and serve.

Monday, October 3, 2011

North Coast Nosh 2

This weekend I attended the 2nd North Coast Nosh event at Peace Coffee Shop and XYandZGallery that was put on by Heavy Table and Peace Coffee. As soon as I walked by the food trucks prepping samples (World Street Kitchen, Vellee Deli, Hola Arepa, Saucy Burt's and Nate Dogs), I knew I was in for a good night of food.

We leisurely wandered from table to table, nibbling on blue cheese from the Caves of Faribault, brioche doughnuts from Bogart Loves, cupcakes from Sweets Bakeshop and continued the local love by drinking our way through the beverage offerings too. Harriet Brewing, Crispin, and Bittercube proved too hard to resist and it was nice to wind down with the most wonderful coffee creation ever. Behold, the Smokey Salted Caramel Cortado from Peace Coffee Shop:


This was the only photo I took from the evening; I guess I was too busy eating, drinking, and talking!

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